1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Agde

AGDE, a town of southern France, in the department of Herault, on the left bank of the river of that name, 2 1/2 m. from the Mediterranean Sea and 32 m. S.W. of Montpellier on the Southern railway. Pop. (1906) 7146. The town lies at the foot of an extinct volcano, the Montagne St Loup, and is built of black volcanic basalt, which gives it a gloomy appearance. Overlooking the river is the church of St Andre, which dates partly from the 12th century, and, till the Revolution, was a cathedral. It is a plain and massive structure with crenelated walls, and has the aspect of a fortress rather than of a church. The exterior is diversified by arched recesses forming machicolations, and the same architectural feature is reproduced in the square tower which rises like a donjon above the building. The Canal du Midi, or Languedoc canal, uniting the Garonne with the Mediterranean, passes under the walls of the town, and the mouth of the Herault forms a harbour which is protected by a fort. The maritime commerce of the town has declined, owing partly to the neighbourhood of Cette, partly to the shallowness of the Herault. The fishing industry is, however, still active. The chief public institutions are the tribunal of commerce and the communal college.

Agde is a place of great antiquity and is said to have been founded under the name of agathe polis (Good City) by the Phocaeans. The bishopric was established about the year 400 and was suppressed in 1790.

Sybid of Agde (Concilium Agathense.)--With the permission of the West Goth Alaric II. thirty-five bishops of southern Gaul assembled in person or sent deputies to Agde on the 11th of September 506. Caesarius, bishop of Arles, presided. The forty seven genuine canons of the synod deal with discipline, church life, the alienation of ecclesiastical property and the treatment of Jews. While favouring sacerdotal celibacy the council laid rather rigid restrictions on monasticism. It commanded that the laity communicate at Christmas, Easter and Whitsuntide. The canons of Agde are based in part on earlier Gallic, African and Spanish legislation; and some of them were re-enacted by later councils, and found their way into collections such as the Hispana, Pseudo-Isidore and Gratian.

See Mansi viii. 319 ff.; Hefele, Conciliengeschichte, 2nd edition, ii. 649 ff. (English translation, iv. 76 ff.); Herzog-Hauck, Realencyklopadie, i. 242.